It Went Something Like This …

The Story So Far … fbb has been trying to get an electric point working in the tunnel (but sort-of accessible) allowing trains to enter/leave a single track storage siding with scenery cantilevered above. To make the work easier (???) the whole section of track is on a sub-baseboard of ply so that the track and pointwork can be slid out for maintenance and cleaning.

Of course, connections to the track and to provide power for the points has to be by plug and socket using these, known affectionately as plug and socket chocolate block

Such delights should be man enough (person enough?) to cope with fbb’s stubbly fingers and shaky left hand.

Here is a very poor picture of the mess in situ and awaiting testing.

In the first phase of testing fbb managed to burn out a point motor solenoid with heat and curls of acrid black smoke. Spare installed. Then he discovered that track which fitted perfectly six months ago no longer matched up. So, off to Peco yesterday morning to get some smaller radius curves.

But It Gets Worse …
Thus, “Twas on a Thursday morning the new curves were installed!’
Then all fitted together beautifully and fbb ran the first ever train over the new pointwork. Only it didn’t. The pointwork points worked but there was no power to that section 0f track. Wires had come out of the chocolate block. 
As fbb was beginning the task of re-implanting, next door neighbour called up to the top floor of fbb mansions.
“You’ve got a burst pipe on your garden tap!” fbb tripped on a wire trying to hurry, pulled the track base out of place and broke one of the newly installed pieces of track.
It got worse with the stop tap.

It tuned off once and on again to fill pans etc pending a plumber; but wouldn’t turn off again – the tap was busted.

And there was a leak in the downstairs toilet!
So “Twas on a Thursday lunchtime that the plumber came to call!” The old folks were fortunate to get such slick service, but Seaton is a small town where people do try to help each other.
Plumbing plumbed, burst repaired, toilet leak un-leaked and a shiny new stop lever fitted …
… the very nice plumber departed and fbb returned to the upper regions to complete the rewiring – successfully!”
But not quite.
And Even Worserer!
With a dose of overt ghastliness and a sinking feeling in the ample nethers, fbb noticed that the wiring to the second point was also busted.

The red wire had broken off in the shuffling of the track plus points; caught on a piece of fbb bodged construction, no doubt. And fbb thinks it cannot be repaired. He does have another spare and will take the busted one over to Peco to see of they can mend it.

So “Twas on a Thursday evening that fat bloke wrote a blog.”
And rather a feeble one at that!
Nottingham Nuggets
Thursday’s Social media at breakfast time and later the local press in Nottingham were all over problems with the trams. The normal disruption graphic is this:-

… and yesterday appeared with this:-

fbb guesses that two trams are not quite enough to run the normal service. Around mid morning there had beem a slight improvement; information this time from the NET web site.

Or maybe MOT cnnecting you?

But things were better!

Apologies, due to adverse weather conditions we have only 8 trams on the system. All of Nottingham City Buses are accepting our tickets and passes. East Midlands trains from Hucknall to Beeston are also accepting our tickets and passes.
8 is four times better than 2!
Back to Social Media at lunchtime.

So either they lost 6 very quickly or nobody bothered to update Facebook or whatever!

By later afternoon all was well again.

The “word on the street” was that the weather had affected some of the high tech equipment essential to ensure the efficient running of the lovely trams.

Apparently the screen washers froze thus meaning the trams could not be run, according to Heath and Safety rules!
One on-line comment seems appropriate.
It is not just winter, however.

That was summer 2022!

Clearly the tram’s managers never look at the weather forecast.
As has been mentioned before,
Isn’t technology wonderful?
But The Balance Sheet Isn’t!
And Doesn’t!

The ways of corporate finance are the dark arts of the business world; but, if fbb grasps the situation correctly, this is all abou a Balance Sheet loss not an astroginormous trading loss. A trading loss is where the fares simply do not pay for the day-to-day running of the system.

The Balance Sheet adds up all the possessions of the company; trams, track, signal equipment, tea urns, spanners, spare parts plus cash in the bank. These are “assets“. The assets are set against the “liabilities” which in the caie of NET is a clutch of very large loans taken out to build and equip the system.
If the liabilities ate bigger (they are much bigger in this case) than the assets, the company is posting a loss. This analysis is supported by reports that NET “has successfully restructured its loans”, which might mean borrowing more loans to pay off the loans.
It things don’t improve, eventually the company will go bust. But that is a good way off yet – so we are told.
But The Buses Are Doing Well?
Comparatively Speaking!
Compared with the rest of the UK, passengers have returned in droves after the Covid collapse. Well small but meaningful droves.
In amongst the usual hype in this article we fing this.
The  above is definitely of interest!
Certainly the £2 fare hasn’t made a marked difference to average loadings down in sunny Seaton. But it is a lot cheaper to get to Exeter, thus a few extras are making the long trip to the big city!
And To Cap It All …
A red frightener arrived by post threatening to crush fbb, Mrs fbb and their limo because they had forgotten to pay their car tax due on Jan 1st.. Neither can remember a reminder arriving which would have been in early December.

It has, indeed, been “one of those days”!

The Birkenhead blogs will appear from Monday
 Next Variety blog : Saturday 20th January 
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